Nutrients to Support Ongoing Daily Detoxification
While recommending a detoxification protocol may be appropriate for some patients, for others it may not be indicated. But in nearly all cases, supporting daily ongoing healthy detoxification is an important clinical objective.
In conventional medical circles, the word detoxification refers to the treatment of an alcoholic or drug addict. However, in integrative medicine, the term is used to represent the removal of toxic substances in a much broader sense. When operating at peak capacity, our internal detoxification system is carefully orchestrated to process and eliminate toxins we are all exposed to on a daily basis. Exposure to toxic chemicals has increased dramatically over the past several decades. This increased toxic burden requires an equally robust effort to support effective detoxification on an ongoing basis through diet, lifestyle, and targeted dietary supplements.
A common ingredient in many dietary supplement products used to support ongoing detoxification is vitamin C. In addition to its antioxidant activity, vitamin C is also a co-factor for a number of enzymes and also supports the endogenous production of other key antioxidants such as glutathione and vitamin E. In addition to often being referred to as the “master antioxidant,” glutathione has also been shown to support ongoing daily detoxification. Two other key nutrients used to support ongoing detoxification are alpha lipoic acid and N-acetyl-l-cysteine.
Silymarin (Silybum marianum) is one of the most widely studied herbs to support the health of the liver, which is key to optimal detoxification. Another ingredient often used to support ongoing daily detoxification is diindoylymethane (DIM), a component of Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) found in Brassica foods such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower. One way that DIM supports healthy detoxification is by supporting estrogen metabolism, which contributes to optimal hormonal balance.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 21 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the environment each year. This is an incredible burden to place on the human internal detoxification system. Supporting this system with a daily supplement devoted to detoxification makes clinical sense. Fortunately, there are a variety of high-quality products to choose from.
Environmental Protection Agency. Toxics Release Inventory Program. https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program
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Suriano R, Singh Parmar P, Wilson YL. 3,3′-diindolylmethane modulates estrogen metabolism in patients with thyroid proliferative disease: a pilot study. Thyroid. 2011;21(3):299-304.